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HOW DO I MAKE AN APPLICATION FOR SUCCESSION? Applications for succession are made through the Māori Land Court. It costs $60 to make an application.

or letters of administration (if applicable)

You need to provide the deceased’s full name, and any known aliases. - Whakapapa Information (full names – including any known Generally, you will require the aliases of the deceased’s parents, following information/documentation siblings, spouse/s and children) to file an application: - A certified copy of the death certificate - Certified copies of the will, probate

To search for other Māori Land interests belonging to the deceased, visit

- A list of the deceased’s Māori land interests – this includes any shares that she/he holds in Māori incorporations.

HOW DOES IT WORK? When you file your application, the Māori Land Court will assign you a case manager. They will be able to answer any questions you may have about your application or the court process. It takes about 3-4 months after your application is filed for it to be heard by the court. During this time your case manager will be researching the list of Māori land interests that you have provided, to confirm that these shares belong to the deceased (and not to another person with a similar name). They will also contact the Māori Trustee (Te Tumu Paeroa) and/ or any Māori incorporation that the deceased held shares in and ask if there are any funds being held. You may not be required to attend a court hearing - your case manager


will let you know if you need to be there in person. You will receive a copy of the draft submission prior to the hearing. This is a draft copy of what will eventually form part of the court’s minutes of the hearing. You should read this carefully. If there are any mistakes, or parts that you don’t understand, it is important that you get in touch with your case manager.

draft submission and may ask you a few questions if he/she requires more clarification before reaching a decision. Shortly after the hearing you will receive a copy of the court minutes. This is a record of what was spoken about at the hearing, including the Judge’s recommendations about who should succeed, and payment of any funds (if applicable).

If you are required to attend a court hearing, you will receive notification at least two weeks before the hearing date. The notification will tell you the date of the hearing, the venue for the hearing, and when you should arrive.

About four weeks after the hearing you should receive a copy of the court orders. These are the legal document that transfers the shares to the successors.

Succession hearings are usually straightforward, and quick. Generally, the Judge will ask if you have read and understood the

For more information about the succession process, and to download an application form, visit

Note: Timelines quoted are only approximate.

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Whenua Magazine - Issue 27  

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